Reports from a Peaceful Revolution

Germany, 1990, 168 min, color/b&w
In German; English subtitles
Themes & Genres:


Director Kurt Tetzlaff initially intended to create a portrait of young people in East Germany; but political changes soon overtook his concept. In response, he focused on the story of one young man and his friends, from March 1989, when the citizens’ movement that brought down the Wall started, to German unification 18 months later. The result is a unique 2-part chronicle of the tumultuous changes that took place in East Germany in 1989-90. The film includes rarely-seen footage of current events interspersed with GDR TV news reports, which presented a glorified image of the GDR even as the country was collapsing. Critics praise this long-term observation as one of the most important documents of this historic period. 




In Transit: Report for Posterity Im Durchgang – Protokoll für das Gedächtnis    

Germany, 1990, 86 min., color & b/w, doc., aspect ratio 4:3, English subtitles 


Director: Kurt Tetzlaff | Script: Hans-Dieter Rutsch, Kurt Tetzlaff | Camera: Werner Bergmann, Achim Sommer, Jürgen Voigt | Editor: Monika Schäfer | Dramaturg: Eckhard Mieder | Sound: Ernst-Dieter Falkenthal, Hartmut Haase, Lutz Laschet, Rainer Pape


Over the course of a year, starting in March 1989, director Kurt Tetzlaff follows Alexander Schulz, an 18-year-old high-school student and son of a pastor. Alexander openly discusses his non-conformist political views. Full of hope, he joins the citizens’ movement in fall 1989; but after the first free elections held in the GDR on March 18, 1990, he realizes that his hopes are in vein.




In Transition: Report on a Hope Im Übergang – Protokoll einer Hoffnung    

Germany, 1991, 82 min., color & b/w, doc., aspect ratio 4:3, English subtitles  

Director: Kurt Tetzlaff | Script: Eckhard Mieder, Kurt Tetzlaff | Camera: Ingo Bahr, Andreas Bergmann, Hans Borrmann, Karl Faber, Claus Mühle, Jürgen Partzsch | Editor Monika Schäfer SoundErnst-Dieter Falkenthal, Hartmut Haase, Lutz Laschet, Rainer Pape


Starting in early 1990, Alexander works for the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace as an alternative to compulsory military service.  As he and his friends watch the political and social situation evolve, the ideas and hopes they had for their country unravel. Alexander discusses his feelings and experiences over the course of the year—including voting in the first and only free East German elections, spending time in West Berlin and the U.S., and German unification and its aftermath.

Press comments

“A long-term observation, in which daily developments in changing political relations are excitingly mirrored.”   —Margit Voss, Berliner Zeitung

“This is an enticing document of a period in which hopes for the future turned into reality, but also lost a lot of their utopian power.”   —


DVD Bonus Features:
  • New digitally-restored transfer
  • Biography & Filmography of Kurt Tetzlaff
  • Written Interview with Kurt Tetzlaff
  • Alexander Schulz Talks about Making the Documentaries (Germany, 2020, dir. Nadine Fuhrlop, EN ST)

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